In the tenth year of our existence, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) has been supported by its three pillars of “Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship.” As our student community has passed through our campus over the years, they have excelled in many areas.
This story looks at Hao MA (’20, Electrical and Electronic Engineering), who studied Communication Engineering under the guidance of Associate Professor Rui WANG. Despite his initial struggles, he found a new direction as a campus ambassador for many different companies. He also maintained a high-quality e-commerce business that supported his hometown, turning over more than 10 million RMB per year.
Hao MA graduated from Xi’an No. 83 Middle School in 2016, and in that final year, he first learned about SUSTech. His family was attracted to the natural environment in which students can study under our philosophical pillars, so he was encouraged to head all the way south. When he learned of our “6+3+1” comprehensive evaluation admission mode, he found more support for his future and was eventually admitted.
While Hao MA has studied under Rui WANG, his life tutor has been Chair Professor Yuhui SHIfrom the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. However, his first two years saw him struggle with his self-confidence and his education, unwilling to talk to anyone about his challenges.
At the beginning of his junior year, he reached out to the counselors of Zhiren College, who provided him with assistance, help, and encouragement to reach out to his tutors.
It was at this point in his junior year that he buckled down and took his education seriously, under the mentorship of Associate Professor Wang RUI. It was Wang RUI who set him on a better academic path, with the assistance of senior students that had been holding Hao MA back. His decision to study communication engineering provided him many development opportunities in the future.
While in his junior year, Hao MA started to think about his future. Concerned about his grades, he was not sure about his future. However, he had found a unique opportunity during the summer holiday. He took an internship that showed him that there are many aspects to a corporate world that he could contribute to, not just programming and scientific research. He was inspired to try recruiting for the broad array of positions as a campus ambassador.
His first attempt was with Appotronics, a leader in laser display based in Guangzhou. Hao MA was surprised to be offered the position. His success boosted his self-confidence, and he continued to apply for more positions with other firms. He wound up representing five different companies as campus ambassadors. His interviews were very smooth and opened a wide range of opportunities within the companies he represented.
The alternative job experience of Hao MA provided a unique opportunity for other students to prepare for jobs across the country while learning about internal opportunities and gaining new experiences from inside the companies.
Before arriving at SUSTech, Hao MA has made a name for himself as an e-commerce entrepreneur. He was supporting the local industry by selling local snacks, agricultural products, and other offerings from his hometown on platforms such as Taobao and Pinduoduo. Hao MA was also supporting his family, and they are running the company in his stead.
While setting up the company, he struggled to put everything together. Still, the support of his family ensured that he was able to design his store, work with manufacturers, develop relationships with delivery companies, and to submit his products to the different platforms. Over time, Hao MA’s stores gathered many loyal customers.
Hao MA does not deny the challenges behind running his store. His product selection is rigorous, assessing many different suppliers for high-quality products. There is considerable effort put into product design and preparation for the e-commerce platforms, while also preparing for after-sales support. These all require human interaction, so the on-going support of his family is vital to the success of the business.
In the future, he will be working in the marketing department of Sangfor, a leading Chinese company in the field of IT infrastructure solutions. It has specialized in cloud computing, network security, and network optimization. He hopes to work hard and continue to climb the corporate ladder, using his newly acquired skills to advance.
The biggest challenges that Hao MA have been mostly personal. He has tackled his low self-esteem and self-confidence, to become an enthusiastic member of the SUSTech community that has seen his efforts recognized by his peers. He believes that his unwillingness to give up is the main reason for being recognized.
Hao MA is especially grateful to the teachers and counselors of Zhiren College to bring him back from the brink. He also wanted to thank his tutors Wang RUI and Yuhui SHI for their support, as well as his three biggest fans – his parents and his girlfriend.
Tips for undergraduate students:
Be good, excellent, and happy.
Do not feel disappointed or inferior. Get help from whoever you can. The scholars and counselors across campus want to help you. They want to talk to you so you can succeed.